Sunday, 23 March 2008

The Easter Message

It's very popular for the religious to be giving messages at Easter, allow me, a member of the irreligious, to present an alternative message.

Some one thousand nine hundred and seventy years ago (or there abouts) a middle aged man was executed. He was but a man, who preached a simple message of peace and good nature. He was a great orator, a charismatic intellectual that spoke to the better nature of people wherever he travelled.

The facts surrounding the actual existance of this man, his life and his death are somewhat hazy (almost non-existant in most cases; aside from a certain specific book), but non the less, his legacy has made a mark on history. A bigger mark in the mind of our species than possibly any other human. But in the intervening centuries after this man's death, the actual message that he seemed to preach got lost amidst a great deal of noise.

Humans, being the selfish, manipulative and arrogant creatures that we are, packaged the the message of this man, labelled it and marketed it to the uneducated masses by institutions seeking to govern a growing empire. Many of the tenants of his message were pushed aside in favour of telling people how to live, what to think and who to respect. The institution fractured, believing in other tenants of their creed or different interpretations of the handbook. Over the years the institution has fought anyone with a different or dissenting point of view, crushed opposition and alternative ideas, and shed rivers of blood in fighting with each other.

Here we are though, still alive almost two thousand years later, in a totally different world to the one in which the crucified man lived in. His footprints have been patented and wrapped in dogma, associating themselves with very specific beliefs that this fellow never associated or concerned himself with. The institutions are finding it a struggle to understand our new world; seeing the way that our species is moving away from the need to have them dictate the way we think and live. The way that our sciences are disproving many of the stories of their sacred guidebook is something that they are fighting and raging against. They don't like that we are shedding our need for organised religion in our lives.

Yet strangely, the species, in moving away from the institutions, is inching closer and closer to understanding and embracing the message of the man that the institution has based its power on. Understanding that the universe does not revolve around us, learning and embracing the knowledge that the earth is not the centre of everything and that life is perhaps not a divinely created gift for mankind only has, caused us to re-evaluate our understanding of one another and realise that in this enormous, uncaring reality, we need each other more than ever. The more we learn what a tiny blip we are on the galactic radar, the more we start to understand the message of the man that was executed so long ago.

The divisions pushed and touted by the institutions of old are fading away. Our desire and need to believe in something greater than ourselves is greater than ever, as we continue to comprehend how fantastically insignificant we are amidst the oceans of emptiness in our universe. Who cares if I believe in reincarnation and you believe in heaven. Can I provide a factual answer to prove that I'm right? Can you? It's all belief. It's all faith. It's a comforting thought that we cling to faced with the harsh truth that the only thing that will definitely happen to our lives is that we will end, and we hope that there will be something more than just this momentary blip of existance. But it's all faith, people. None of us have the answer, just belief. Doesn't matter what you believe or what I believe, we all have to share the same tiny blue dot, and instead of fighting over petty ideas like colour, faith or sex, we need to start living together. In peace. As one.

Think of what we could achieve if we all worked together. We could explore space, take a really good look at the oceans, actually try to understand the mysteries of life that have divided us for so long. This is the only home we have, and this is the only life we ever know we'll have. What helps you get through it is fine, but the message that that one man preached all those years ago is now more important than ever: Peace. Love for ourselves and one another. Compassion.

Jesus Christ tried to spread that one message. I do not believe he was concerned with skin colour or sexuality, gender or physical ability. He saw through the superficiality of human beings and spoke to something deeper in ourselves. We do not need to come to God through a church or a mosque or a synagogue, we do not need an institution to tell us the importance of the message of Jesus Christ. We are alive. We are a species. We all bleed red and are all pink on the inside. We all hope there is something greater than ourselves and we all hope that this brief life is not all there is. But we do not know. The only thing we have is each other. And the commonality in our soul to reach for something better than ourselves.

This life is fleeting, and beyond that is unknown. All we can do in the meantime, living as the individuals that we are, is try to get long in peace. Together.

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